News

Briggs & Stratton Surprises Robotics Club with Grant

Monday, December 17, 2018

HOLDREGE – The Holdrege Public Schools Robotics Club received a special surprise when they gave a presentation to the Holdrege Rotary Club on Dec. 6. After the presentation by HPS Teacher and Robotics Club Leader Don Kosmicki and two students, Daniel deFreese and Ryan Salisbury, Briggs & Stratton gave a $5,000 donation to help the club purchase new equipment. deFreese said the gift came at the perfect time. “I kind of felt joy that we got the money and some relief because we’ve always struggled with finances basically all the time,” deFreese said. deFreese, a junior at HHS, has been involved with the club...
Housing Incentives Revamped After Overwhelming Popularity

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Due to the overwhelming popularity of PCDC’s GO! Home programs, a few changes have been made, and the programs will be revamped for 2019 to narrow the focus to bringing in new residents. PCDC has suspended funding for the exterior home improvement loans and grants, sales tax holiday grants and marketing demonstration grants because funds budgeted for those programs for 2018 have already been depleted. “We had more demand than we had anticipated in some of the areas,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “And, we want to be sure that we are investing in projects that support growth in the market....
PCDC Gives Major Boost to Local Education

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A new mobile STEM lab designed to spark learning opportunities and bring cutting-edge technology to area students received a $15,000 boost from the Phelps County Development Corporation. The PCDC Board of Directors approved the donation to help fund the CSI (Create, Solve & Innovate) Lab that is being created through a partnership between the Educational Service Unit 11, area manufacturers (including BD) and public power companies. A total of $125,000 is needed to launch the CSI lab that will be made available to 1,450 south-central Nebraska seventh and eighth graders. PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said the lab could help in efforts to...
PCDC Resumes $1,000 Exterior Renovation Grants

Thursday, December 13, 2018

PCDC recently replaced the former $1,000 First Impression Grants with the new GO! DREAM program to encourage downtown Holdrege businesses revitalization. However, PCDC Director of Business Services Carley Bruning said they later realized that businesses outside of downtown Holdrege were still interested in financial incentives for renovations. So, PCDC has resumed the exterior grants with a new name – GO! Business Building Exterior Impact Grants. These $1,000 grants are offered for exterior updates to any Phelps County business. The grants must be used for materials only and may be used for windows, paint, awnings, masonry or minor exterior repairs and lighting. The...
SPUCC Sets Legislative Priorities After Senators Panel

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

     HOLDREGE, NE: December 12, 2018 – The South Platte United Chambers of Commerce hosted Lt. Governor Mike Foley and Nebraska state senators and its Legislative Summit yesterday in Holdrege. Past and future legislative issues were discussed by the elected officials and the audience gave input to the senators.   Senator Dan Hughes of District 44, Senator Elect Dave Murman of District 38, and retired senators Ed Schrock and Tom Carlson lent their expertise and views to the discussions.  The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry gave a presentation that reviewed 2018 and preview the coming legislative session.   Lt. Gov. Foley said that...
The Sun Theater is an Iconic Holdrege Landmark, Providing Entertainment for Generations

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Sun Theater is at the epicenter of entertainment for folks in Holdrege and all Phelps County.   Generations of residents have grown up watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters at the Sun Theater. This iconic landmark was originally opened in 1927 and for the past ninety years it has taken local residents on adventures, introduced them to superheroes, made them laugh, and been a generally fun place to spend a few hours with friends and family. Entertainment venues, like the Sun Theater, are Phelps County assets and part of what gives our residents a high quality of life. Beyond good jobs, schools,...
First GO! DREAM Grant Awarded For Historic Downtown Holdrege Building

Thursday, October 25, 2018

PCDC announced its new downtown revitalization program in September, and the first grant to spruce up a building has already been approved. Current owners of the former Holdrege opera house are hoping exterior improvements could begin as early as late October with the help of PCDC’s new GO! DREAM program (Downtown Revitalization Economic Assistance Mission). Justin Trompke, co-owner of the opera house, said exterior work will include painting the currently red and white building to dark gray with black accents, installing new store-front glass and a SureWall system and fixing the brick wall on the Fourth Avenue side. Part of the building...
Honoring Hometown Sculptors Could Also Boost Local Economy

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Several well-known bronze sculptors hail from Holdrege, and the Citizens for Bronze Art organization is working to honor their talents and bring an economic and tourism boost to Phelps County. Eight life-sized bronze sculptures by world-renowned artists George Lundeen and Brad Pearson already provide beauty and inspiration at public places in Holdrege. A ninth sculpture by George is complete and will be placed at the new baseball/softball complex, and a tenth sculpture by Mark Lundeen will soon be placed at the Holdrege Public Library. Citizens for Bronze Art, who funded five of the existing sculptures, is now seeking the public’s help in...
Increase Visitors and Sales with Nebraska Passport Program

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Nebraska Passport program has brought hundreds of visitors to Phelps County, and the Phelps County Development Corporation is encouraging more local attractions and stores to be involved as a way to boost tourism and the local economy. “By becoming a Passport stop, we are boosting the economic impact for the county,” said Carley Bruning, PCDC’s Director of Business Services. “Travelers will hopefully stop and eat, fuel up, shop, and visit our parks, museums, restaurants and stores while they are here.” Each year, the Nebraska Tourism Commission selects 70 to 80 attractions across the state to be included in the Nebraska Passport...
New Housing Program Helps Renters Call Phelps County Home

Thursday, September 20, 2018

PCDC has expanded its GO! Home program to include a $1,000 grant for new renters. The Employee Relocation Renter’s Program provides an incentive to encourage commuting employees or new employees to rent homes or apartments in Phelps County. “This is all part of our efforts to turn commuters into full-time Phelps County residents,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. A 2016 study indicated that of the 4,590 jobs in Phelps County, nearly half (or 2,177 jobs) are filled by workers who live outside of the county. A later housing study showed that 62 percent of commuters would consider moving to Phelps County. “We want...
PCDC Announces Major Incentives to Revitalize Downtown Holdrege

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Old buildings in downtown Holdrege may have a fresh start thanks to a new PCDC program. The Phelps County Development Corporation created the GO! DREAM programs to continue downtown revitalization efforts started five years ago and to give building owners the resources they need to bring to life the dreams they have for their historic buildings. “This is what we are doing downtown because people have dreams for these buildings,” said Carley Bruning, PCDC’s Director of Business Services. “We want future generations to continue to enjoy these buildings.” The Downtown Revitalization Economic Assistance Mission (DREAM) offers downtown building owners an opportunity to receive...
The Tassel at 20: Inspiring Youth, Attracting Visitors and Spurring Growth

Thursday, September 20, 2018

This fall, the Tassel Performing Arts Center kicked off its 20th season of bringing song, dance, music and big-city cultural entertainment to Phelps County. The dream for the Tassel started deep in Holdrege’s history as the small city became known for its ability to draw big-name acts like Will Rogers and Boston Pops to the former downtown opera house and the city auditorium. “Holdrege and Phelps County area residents historically have been appreciative of the arts, both visually and the performing arts,” said Bruce Hendrickson, who led efforts to raise money to build the Tassel. “A profound interest in the arts is...
Concrete Solutions Brings Positive Vibe to Downtown Road Project

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Four months ago, a jackhammer broke into the concrete on Fourth and East avenues kicking off a season of detours, sidewalk closings, water shut-offs and other dilemmas for area residents and business owners. But through it all, the Concrete Solutions 2018 team has been communicating construction updates to help area business owners and residents find their way around the mess. And, the good news is that construction is now half-way complete, and a new road and sidewalks will soon help showcase the town in a more positive light. Concrete Solutions 2018 is led by staff and volunteers from the Phelps County Development...
Downtown Business Owners Retiring; Seeking New Owner

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

After more than 50 years of work in the print business, Dan and Kyle Imel are planning to stop the presses. The brothers are looking forward to retirement and are hoping to find a buyer for their print shop, Graphic Arts Shop at 308 East Avenue in downtown Holdrege. The business has been serving area customers for about 80 years. Graphic Arts has a full line of printing tools, including offset presses, bindery equipment, paper cutters and screen-printing machines. The equipment is used to print business forms, letterhead, envelopes, scale tickets, labels, business cards and decals for vehicles. “We would like to sell...
First Tenants Move Into Washington Square Apartments

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Washington Square Apartments have officially opened, and new renters are settling into maintenance-free living. Property Manager Jennifer Yendra said five of the 18 units have already been leased. Three tenants, including Robert Glidden and his wife of Kearney, moved in by mid-July. Two more were expected to move in by August 1. Robert said he and his wife looked at the apartments near the end of June after they had trouble finding a place to rent in Kearney when their house sold faster than expected. “Jennifer showed us the apartments, and they looked nice,” Robert said. “They were very obliging, and we...
Five Receive Grants to Create Workforce Housing

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

PCDC’s GO! Home Phoenix Housing program has sparked the renovation of at least five local homes, and grant funds are available for more projects. The program launched one year ago with the goal of making it more affordable to purchase and renovate dilapidated homes to turn them into workforce housing. Joe Ridder, owner of Ridder Custom Building, purchased a home on auction at 915 Garfield and plans to remodel it and resell it by the end of the year with the help of the Phoenix program. “It had a lot of potential, but it was going to take a lot of money to...
Bruning Connects, Learns and Shares as Part of Leadership Nebraska

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Carley Bruning has just completed her first session with Leadership Nebraska, and she is excited to share local success stories and learn from others in this program that helps identify emerging leaders and deepens their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the state. Carley, PCDC’s Director of Business Operations, was one of 30 Nebraskans chosen to participate in the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Leadership Nebraska Class XI. She is joined by other leaders from across the state, including a state senator, a lawyer, city officials, non-profit organization leaders, bankers and business leaders. “It is an honor,” Carley said of...
Companies Seeks Franchisees for Phelps County

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

National franchise opportunities exist for Phelps County, and PCDC wants to assist anyone interested in exploring this opportunity. The interest in Phelps County was welcome news for PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery, who attended the RECon trade show in Las Vegas to promote Phelps County as a place to do business. The show attracted real estate developers and owners of major retailers from around the globe. “One of the things we learned in Las Vegas is there are companies out there who are interested in our market and will come here if we can identify qualified franchise owners,” Tillery said. Potential franchise owners...
Hotel Project Moves Forward After Jumping Final Hurdle

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Construction could begin as early as this fall on a new Cobblestone Hotel in Holdrege. The Holdrege City Council and the Holdrege Community Redevelopment Authority approved TIF funding for the project on June 5, and now the developer can prepare an updated budget, finalize the investor group and begin the predevelopment planning at the site. The hotel will be built on the site of the former Washington School on Burlington Street just west of the new Washington Square apartments.  The 45-room two-story hotel will include a lobby, meeting room, exercise room and breakfast area. The project started after PCDC commissioned a study that...
New Coffee Drive-Thru Opening in Holdrege

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

One of Holdrege’s busiest intersections will soon become home to a new Nebraska-based drive-thru coffee business. Josi Orsi, Senior Marketing Manager for Scooter’s, said the company plans to build a Scooter’s Drive-Thru at the intersection of Burlington Street and Fourth Avenues in Holdrege. They are hoping to open sometime between October and December 2018. “We really enjoy small Midwestern markets, especially cross-roads markets like Holdrege where you have the convergence of multiple highways creating traffic counts that far exceed the actual population of the market,” Josi said. “Additionally, we look for great hard-corner locations that are easy to get to and extremely...
New Event Center Could Give $1 Million Annual Boost to Local Economy

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A study has determined that an event center is needed in Phelps County, and a steering committee will soon be formed to explore strategies to make it happen. The event center study by Core Distinction Group concluded that a convention/conference center/meeting facility is needed in Holdrege. “This is based on the clear community demand as well as the direct and indirect economic impact of such a facility,” the study concluded. PCDC commissioned the study this spring after community leaders and business owners expressed a need for an event center and offered funds to assist in a study. PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said business...
PCDC Shifts Focus to Downtown Development to Attract Younger Workers

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A recent search of job openings in Phelps County (neworks.nebraska.gov) reveals nearly 200 available jobs. PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said downtown development may be the tool that helps solve some of the workforce and housing issues facing Phelps County. “Downtown has to be the beating heart of the community, not on life support,” Tillery said. “The downtown is what people judge you by. If you’ve got a vibrant downtown, people think the community is healthy.” He cites recent workshops and discussions he’s had with sources around the state and country that point to a trend of younger workers choosing where they are...
Dirt Work Begins on Holdrege’s New Field of Dreams

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

An open field on 18th Avenue is one step closer to becoming a field of dreams after dirt work on the new baseball/softball complex officially began the first week of May. After endless hours of work by countless volunteers spanning several decades, the field is finally becoming a reality thanks to a partnership between several community organizations, including the Phelps County Development Corporation. The City of Holdrege took the lead on the project in the fall of 2015. The four-field complex is being built on 13 acres of ground that was gifted to the city by the Phelps County Community Foundation. The...
How Vegas Will Help Holdrege Grow

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Real estate developers and owners of major retailers from around the globe descended upon Las Vegas in mid-May for RECon, the Global Retail Real Estate Convention. And Phelps County Development Corporation’s Ron Tillery took the opportunity to tout Phelps County as the next great location for their businesses. Tillery said he attended the conference as an extension of PCDC’s work with Buxton Co., a nationwide statistics and marketing firm. PCDC signed a contract with Buxton in late 2017 to help local businesses grow and to identify potential new retail opportunities. “There are some voids where we have no local representation in a certain...
Nine Students Earn Share of $26,000 in High-Demand Jobs Scholarships

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nine students have been awarded scholarships to study in local high-demand fields, such as agriculture and nursing, because they plan to return to Phelps County to work after graduation. This is the fifth year the scholarships have been offered. They are part of the Phelps County Development Corporation’s efforts to create a quality local work force. This year, $26,000 in scholarships were awarded ranging from $1,000-$4,000 each. The scholarships are intended to encourage graduating seniors and non-traditional students to pursue work in local high-demand jobs: nurses, agri-business and technology positions, diesel mechanics, engineer technologists, mechatronics engineers, injection mold technicians, electro-mechanical technologists, machinists, tool...
State Grant Paves Way for 40 New Homes in Holdrege

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A new subdivision in East Holdrege could add as many as 40 living units to help ease the local workforce housing shortage. In late April, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development announced that Holdrege was one of 14 communities selected to receive grants through the new rural workforce housing program established by LB518 last year. The Holdrege Development Corporation applied for the grant and will oversee the development of the new subdivision that will be built east of East Street near 11th Avenue. The property is just south of the Sunrise East subdivision on 10 acres of ground that the Holdrege Housing...
Nebraska Chamber’s Leadership Nebraska Selects Local Participant

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Carley Bruning has been selected to participate in Leadership Nebraska Class XI. Carley has been the Director of Business Services at Phelps County Development Corporation (PCDC) since July 2017. She administers PCDC’s GO! program; administers the high-demand jobs scholarship program; engages with employers to develop programs to recruit, develop and retain talent; assists and encourages local entrepreneurs; and collaborates with other organizations to encourage a vibrant downtown. She oversees PCDC’s Holdrege Young Professionals and Business in Motion groups. She attended Central Christian College of Kansas, where she played both volleyball and basketball...
Chamber Honors PCDC with 2018 Visionary Superstar Award

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce honored the Phelps County Development Corporation with the Visionary Superstar Award at its banquet on April 6. This award is given to a chamber member who has been in business for six years or more and has demonstrated business and community leadership. “With more than 100 investors, PCDC enjoys broad support from the business community and plays an active role in supporting investment and job creation that improves the overall vibrancy of Phelps County's economy,” the chamber noted. “Figuratively, PCDC has erected a large neon sign that says: Phelps County is Open for Business!” The chamber highlighted a...
First Impression Grant Awarded to Wiggles & Giggles

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Congratulations to the Wiggles & Giggles Academy on receiving a First Impressions Grant from the Phelps County Development Corporation. Wiggles & Giggles plans to open a child care center at 2321 East Fourth Ave in mid-May. Co-owner Andrae Matthews said they will use the grant to add front door security system, which will include a camera outside and a screen inside so the staff inside can see who is entering the center and “buzz” them in once deemed safe. “This grant is important to our business because it is one more thing we can do to protect the children entrusted into our care,”...
Gov. Ricketts, Economic Development Announce Rural Workforce Housing Fund Recipients

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Grantee selections announced following agency-led review. LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the first grants from a new rural workforce housing program that was recently established.  Following a recently-concluded grant application period, the Nebraska Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act (LB518) is poised to support rural communities in their efforts to attract and retain a skilled, robust labor force. “The Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act will lead to better housing opportunities in rural communities,” said Governor Ricketts.  “By serving the needs of working families and attracting residents and businesses, the Rural Workforce Housing Investment...
TIF Projects Make Big Impact on Phelps County

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Past construction projects involving tax increment financing in Holdrege have helped increase the city’s taxable valuation by $21 million. “TIF is a powerful tool that helps make the pie bigger for everyone,” said Ron Tillery, executive director of the Phelps County Development Corporation. According to statistics from the Phelps County Assessor and Treasurer’s offices, 21 projects have been approved for TIF in the county since the tool became available in 1995. Some of those projects have included the redevelopment of the former Tower Motel area that now features Orscheln’s and the corporate headquarters for AgWest. Other projects include a Wagner’s Irrigation expansion, Janssen...
PCDC Chooses Phelps Memorial as Business of the Year

Monday, March 19, 2018

Access to a nearby hospital in a rural community is sometimes rare. But, in Phelps County, hospital care is not a worry. Residents receive quality care at one of the top 100 critical care hospitals in the nation at Phelps Memorial Health Center. The Phelps County Development Corporation has chosen Phelps Memorial Health Center as one of its 2017 businesses of the year. The selection committee noted Phelps Memorial’s stellar performance among its peers not only in Nebraska but also across the nation as shown by its recent selection as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital. Phelps Memorial is also recognized for...
PCDC Honors Bridal Isle as Business of the Year

Friday, March 16, 2018

With many formal wear stores across the state, what would prompt brides to leave their big city homes and drive for hours to a tiny town in the middle of Nebraska to shop for the perfect wedding dress? Maybe, it’s that personal touch when they see a sign welcoming them by name to the store. Maybe it’s the friendly and welcoming staff who have a passion for their work. Maybe it’s the surprise of stepping out of their vehicle in small town Nebraska and entering into a store that looks like it’s in New York City. Maybe it’s the large selection...
Anderson’s Relationship Skills Helped Rural Nebraska

Thursday, October 26, 2017

PCDC lost a long-time board member, enthusiastic promoter of Phelps County economic development and a genuine and honest friend when Tim Anderson died on Oct. 12 at age 68. Anderson was a current PCDC Board of Directors member and had served on the board since March of 2008. But, promoting Phelps County and rural economic development was a passion of his for much longer. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, William (Bill) Anderson and his father, Willard “Bud” Anderson, who also both worked on industry recruitment and business promotion in Holdrege as volunteers in economic development. They were part of...
Governor Ricketts Praises Phelps County

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More than $700,000 has been raised so far in the Prosperity Project II Campaign that kicked off on Thursday, October 13, at Allmand Brothers. The kickoff event and celebration attracted nearly 90 local and state leaders and investors, including Governor Pete Ricketts, Department of Economic Development Director Courtney Dentlinger and State Senator John Kuehn. Gov. Ricketts, who gave the keynote address, said he attended the celebration to encourage and support economic development efforts. “You are doing exactly the right thing, which is why I am here,” he said. “We are here to support you.” The Prosperity Project II campaign is part of the funding...
Talent Comes Home for Jobs - Part 2

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Three Phelps County students have received scholarships to return to the area after college to work in the agriculture and medical fields.   Alex Hamling, Zachary Gray and Cheyenne Gdanitz were three of nine students who received a share of $30,000 in community-donated scholarship funds because they are planning future careers in high-demand jobs in Phelps County.   Alex Hamling, a 2013 Holdrege High School graduate, is a junior studying agriculture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He plans to earn a degree in agronomy and return to Phelps County for a career in agronomy or livestock production.   In high school, Alex played football, basketball, Legion...
Talent Comes Home for Jobs

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Three Phelps County students have received scholarships to return to the area after college to work in the automotive, agriculture and medical fields.   Colter Edgren, Trevor Smith and Dustin Langenberg were three of the nine students who received a share of $30,000 in community-donated scholarship funds because they are planning future careers in high-demand jobs in Phelps County.   Colter Edgren, a 2015 Holdrege High School graduate, plans to attend Southeast Community College in Milford this fall to study general automotive. His long-term goal is to own a business specializing in hot rods and performance cars.   His passion for fixing up cars started out...
A New Tool in the Toolbox

Thursday, June 25, 2015

In addition to trade shows, a new web site and targeted advertising, the Phelps County Development Corporation has a new tool in its box to help recruit businesses to the county.   The PCDC board approved a contract with the Community Venture Network, a Minnesota-based company that matches high-growth businesses with economic development professionals seeking to attract companies to their communities.   The network identifies companies in manufacturing, distribution, technology, medical and alternative energy who are looking to expand or relocate. The companies would employ between 2 and 200 people.   According to the network’s web site, many businesses are seeking locations that will result in...
Federal Grant Could Help Save You Thousands

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Before embarking on an expansion, remodel or energy upgrade, business owners or farmers might benefit to check with the Phelps County Development Corporation first.   PCDC Executive Director Monica Boyken said her office receives a steady stream of alerts about programs or grants to help business owners.   “It’s always good to let us know if you’ve got an upcoming project,” she said. Then, she and her staff can share information about grants, loans or other assistance that may be relevant.   For example, PCDC recently received information about a federal grant for business owners or farmers looking to save money on energy costs.   Applications are due...
Phelps County's Recruiting Efforts on the Road

Friday, April 17, 2015

With a 134-acre business and industry park now available in Phelps County, work has begun to recruit new companies to the new site. In addition to PCDC’s advertising in trade publications, another effective way to market the space is by attending trade shows.   Monica Boyken, Executive Director of the Phelps County Development Corporation, attended the International Plastics Showcase in Orlando, Fla., in late March to make connections for that reason.   Boyken said she was “very happy” that Phelps County had a presence at the event with more than 60,000 plastics industry professionals.   At the show, Nebraska Public Power District sponsored a booth highlighting...